Coronavirus testing is now available to the over-65s and people who need to leave home for work. But so many have suffered from the hands of the virus, just like one councillor – Fozia Shaheen.
Fozia Shaheen is a councillor from Bradford, West Yorkshire. Now fully recovered from coronavirus, she shares how the notorious illness left her bedbound.
“I would just sleep and sleep. It’s not something you just take as ‘I’ve got a bit of a cold’,” she told Telegraph & Argus.
Falling ill around the time lockdown was announced, Fozia recalled the first symptom she experienced.
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“I was speaking to one of my colleagues on the phone and I had a slight cough. I would stop and cough away.”
Working with people with learning difficulties at the Khidmat Community Centre, Fozia didn’t want to spread an infection.
Contacting NHS 111, she was advised to self-isolate, and her manager agreed it was the best thing to do.
“Over a week I was very ill. I was feeling hot, my body [was] like somebody had hit me with a hammer. All my bones were hurting me.
“I was saying to my family I need to be in a separate room.
“I stopped looking at the news as I couldn’t open my eyes. It was about making sure I got that rest.”
As the nation pulled together to register as the NHS Volunteer Responders, Fozia felt helpless.
“It’s upsetting, I wanted to be part of distributing food and making sure everyone’s safe.”
Although Fozia wasn’t tested for coronavirus, she “had the symptoms”.
“This is why I’m sharing what I’m sharing,” she said.
“This isn’t a joke. This is something that is a deadly virus.”
Fearful that people may get fed up with lockdown measures, Fozia has some words of wisdom.
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“When you’re really ill or have any form of symptoms the last thing you want to do is pass them onto anyone.
“I really urge people, even though the lockdown has been extended to three weeks, there’s two more weeks left, stay home if you don’t need to go out.
“I know it’s not easy but don’t risk your life, don’t risk anyone else’s life.”
She added: “We’re in a situation where if you’re not in it together it’s never going to end.”
Her final remarks on the situation were as follows: “We need to save lives. We need to stay home. That is for your own safety.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the people that have sadly lost people as a result of this virus. It’s really sad.”
And Fozia couldn’t be more proud of how her community has responded.
“As a local ward councillor, I just think for me it’s amazing to see the local community come together to make sure we could serve the community that’s in real need.”
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